A mega Chinese state-owned company will finance a €4 million study to assess the feasibility of a bridge between Malta and Gozo.
The agreement was signed this afternoon between the Government and the company's Vice President.
China Communications Construction Corporation Limited was the same company that built the dock number six, the largest in the Mediterranean, 30 years ago.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the offer came from the Chinese government and was accepted with no obligation to take on the project or engage the company if the Government opts for a bridge.
The study is expected to take 15 months.
Asked what the company would get in return, Dr Muscat said the government had made it clear with the Chinese authorities that the study would in no way bind the government.
The offer was a result of the good relations between the two countries and the fact that CCCC viewed Malta as an investment opportunity.
Dr Muscat said he looked forward to discuss other matters with the company which ranked 216th in the Fortune 500 list.
He said a feasibility study, partially financed by the EU, to assess a potential tunnel link will still go ahead. He insisted the government was looking at all options to improve connectivity between Malta and Gozo, including an air link.
Depending on the feasibility of the tunnel and bridge projects, popular consultation will take place giving particular weight to what Gozitans have to say.